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News November 1, 2004 Issue

The Legal Assistant's E-mails?

Notice how the new OCIE exam list asks for a month of e-mails to and from, among other folks, the firmís "legal assistant"? Is the SEC trying to do an "end-run" around the attorney-client privilege protecting many e-mails to and from the firmís general counsel (and other in-house counsel)?

IM Insight posed the question to OCIE director Lori Richards at the NSCP conference.

Richards said she wasnít aware of that particular request. She emphasized that OCIE honors and respects the attorney-client privilege, but added that sheís heard of instances where it was claimed "far too broadly" or "asserted inappropriately." Examiners, she said, will work with firms to understand why the privilege is being asserted.